Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Effect on Vancouver’s Housing Market

In short, no one has a concrete answer the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The last few months for Vancouver have seen a huge pick-up in sales but will that continue? There are numerous changes happening in the industry. Only time will tell how the Coronarvirus affects the industry.

What economists are saying about the effects of the Coronavirus?

RBC economics suggest that the hot market from Vancouver may cool down due to the Coronavirus. Despite the Bank of Canada reducing interest rates by 50 basis points.

“The world has changed in March,” Robert Hogue, a senior economist from RBC, writes.

“We are coming to the view now that because of the virus and the meltdown in financial markets… We will mostly likely see a decline in buying activity through at least parts of the spring market, and maybe even going into the summer market.”

Hogue believes that self-isolation and the lack of movement due to the Coronavirus may prevent buyers from the act of shopping for homes. Buyers may be more weary taking on a larger mortgage.

How the Coronavirus creates a new normal

Industries continue to adapt to the changes that the Coronavirus brings.

CIBC will keep it’s locations open but with modified hours. Centers that don’t offer over the counter banking and cash services will be closed until further notice. The bank will also be offering work from home solutions to staff that are not in customer facing roles.

Customers of Central 1 Credit Union are encouraged to use digital platforms. The credit union believes their site will be able to handle the increased traffic.

Canada Guaranty is looking for new solutions for customers that find themselves under financial hardship. The mortgage insurer’s Homeownership Solution Program prior allowed lenders to capitalize up to four monthly mortgage payments but this can be increased to a maximum of six monthly payments, depending on certain conditions.

LTSA

LTSA, Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia, will be accepting an Affidavit of Execution sworn under section 49 of the Land Title Act. This is due to social distancing caused by the Coronavirus. Documents can be signed by the transferor on one page and witnessed by an officer on a separate page. This will allow both to remain at a safe distance.

Still, the requirements for the Land Title Act require the transferor to be in the presence of an officer. Videoconferencing is not an acceptable alternative.

Vancouver’s Real Estate as it stands

At the moment, it is not uncommon to see some homes sell above listing price and in a week or less. However the effects of this virus are still very new. With changing mortgage rates we will have to see how this may or may not impact the market.

A time to be sensitive

It is important to be sensitive to other needs. Not all sellers may be comfortable allowing people to enter their homes while COVID-19 is in effect. Sellers may be following instructions from the government if they are self-isolating after travelling.

Seniors selling their home must be careful allowing people to enter their homes.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has advised agents to not host open houses. This is to prevent the spreading of the virus.

Earlier this week, REBGV also removed the rule requiring that properties listed on MLS® be made available for showings.

If you are curious about seeing what areas are selling above or below the listing price check out our Real Estate Tools and Maps. By logging in you will have access to our insights. You will be able to see which areas are hot to buy and sell.